From Sega Retro
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive|
|Developer: Studio Fazzy|
|Number of players: 1|
Divine Sealing (ディヴァインシーリング) is an unlicensed adult Sega Mega Drive vertical shoot-'em-up game developed by Studio Fazzy and published by CYX. Released in Japan in May 1992, the game is most notable for being one of few contemporary unlicensed games to be exclusively developed and published domestically, and was one of the first unlicensed Mega Drive titles ever released.
Sold at a premium price of ¥9,800 (the equivalent of about $85) and with notably high production values for the early unlicensed market, Divine Sealing is most remembered today for its post-level cutscenes, presented with professionally-drawn hentai artwork - and used to incentivize progression with the tease of increasingly adult images.
The character Elias is is danger, and requests the assistance of Falchion - pilot of the spaceship Divine. Through his adventure, Falchion encounters others characters who need assistance, and must fight his way through a series of five planets and their respective bosses in order to see his journey through.
Each character rescued by Falchion expresses her gratitude by means of undressing for him. These post-level cutscenes are where the majority of Divine Sealing's story is conveyed, and where one of the game's largest focuses - its hentai artwork - is presented to the player. These cutscenes progress in a similar manner to a visual novel, often featuring dialogue between Falchion and the rescued character and then waiting for user input to proceed. As these story scenes play out, the images begin showing the respective character removing successive articles of her clothing until completely nude, where they eventually engage in sex.
Once players are finished viewing Divine Sealing's cutscenes, the game progresses back to its standard shoot-'em-up gameplay, where Falchion is again tasked with enduring another planet's defenses and reaching the next character.
|The story's protagonist and pilot of the spacecraft Divine, tasked with rescuing five different women scattered across a series of hostile enemy planets. Falchion is provided with extremely-little background apart from what can be gleaned from his conversations with the rescued women, and seems to most fit the role of a silent protagonist designed to be relatable to the game's average playerbase.|
|Known by the title "Mizu no Miko", Elias requests the assistance of Falchion and his spaceship Divine, and sets off the events of the game's story. Encountered after completing Water Planet.|
|Known by the title "Daichi no Miko", Soil is a tough character who doesn't get along with Falchion at first, but soon grows an affinity for him. Encountered after completing Earth Planet.|
|Known by the title "Kaze no Miko", Chilly appears wearing a flight suit like those used by fighter pilots. Encountered after completing Wind Planet.|
|Known by the title "Saigo no Shinpan", Freyja appears wearing a red suit of medieval plate armor. Encountered after completing Flame Planet.|
|An unknown woman who appears at the conclusion to the game's story. Encountered after completing Final Planet.|
Divine Sealing controls much like other vertical shoot-'em-ups: the D-pad is used to control the movement of the Divine, and the button fires its weapons. The game features no form of screen-clearing bombs, and the and buttons therefore remain unused during gameplay. Additionally, pauses the game, and the game's story cutscenes can be advanced with the button.
Gameplay is similar to titles in Hudson Soft's Star Soldier and Compile's Aleste series, focusing primarily on incoming patterns of attacking enemies, and challenging the player to formulate strategies on how to best avoid, defeat, and re-encounter successive waves of both enemies and their projectile attacks. Divine Sealing offers no form of health system - the Divine will be destroyed on immediate contact with an incoming projectile. Thankfully, players respawn instantly, flying up from the bottom of the screen while the level continues to scroll. Curiously, the game lacks any kind of collision with enemies or bosses, allowing the Divine to safely pass through anything but enemy projectiles.
Through scoring, the Divine's firepower can be upgraded an additional two stages (allowing the ship to fire in multiple directions at once), but will revert to its original weaponry upon destruction.
Every 20,000 points upgrades the Divine's firepower and awards one extra life. Destroying one of the planet's bosses also awards 20,000 points and the associated extra life, but the player retains their current level of firepower. While the onslaught of erratic attack patterns can overwhelm some players at first, those with experience in the game's distinct style of shoot-'em-up gameplay can easily complete the game with a surplus of 25 extra lives.
Much like the titles which inspired Divine Sealing's emphasis on pattern-driven gameplay, the various planets feature nothing which need to be navigated around except the enemies themselves. While resulting in overall less-memorable stage layouts, it affords the Divine the much-needed breathing room to properly intercept oncoming enemies and their erratic attack patterns.
|A planet of turbulent and rushing water. The enemies here appear in slow and predictable patterns, and the stage overall serves as a gradual introduction to the game's style of attack patterns.|
|A planet of eerie organic purple structures which resemble veins. Enemies grow more challenging, with creatures beginning to use more frequent dive bomb tactics, as well as introducing more projectiles. The game's attack patterns grow even more erratic here, notably featuring swarms of insects which rapidly undulate up and down while approaching the Divine.|
|A planet of green fields and blue water, somewhat resembling Xevious or Twinbee. While deceptively calm at first, the playfield soon switches to a long stretch of organic, blood-red walls and latticed grating, an effect achieved through multiple layers of vertical parallax scrolling to achieve an effect of flying over a deep canyon. Enemy attack patterns continue to utilize dive bombing techniques, and new and unpredictable patterns are introduced in an effort to overwhelm the Divine by flooding the available screen space with the enemies themselves.|
|A planet of chaotic flames and lava, all built over with a grey industrial metal motif, and with a dynamically-generated fire effect representing the planet's titular theme. A number of both projectiles and enemy attack craft will easily fill the screen unless the Divine does not encounter and destroy them nearly as soon as they appear. Streams of raining enemies appear at numerous times, appearing similar to a meteor shower, and the planet features an increase in the number of dive bombing enemies. Additionally, enemies which fire projectiles will be lined up in rows to fire successive barrages at the Divine.|
|A dark planet of Giger-esque skeletal/industrial motifs, featuring demonic skulls attached to the end of robotic manufacturing arms, all connected to a long series of inter-connected spines, ribs, and skeletal computer chips. Nearly every type of previous attack pattern returns, as well as a number of patterns which appear from both the top and bottom of the screen simultaneously. Easily the longest planet in the game, and the one which requires the most attention to keep the Divine from being overwhelmed (especially as enemies begin appearing from the rear in progressively denser patterns.)|
Divine Sealing's enemies have a strong emphasis on their unique attack patterns, challenging players to quickly recognize which formation has begun streaming onto the playfield - and then just as quickly encounter and defeat them, lest the Divine become overwhelmed by their swarm-like numbers.
|A bee-like insect, and one of the game's more common enemies. It generally attacks in groups of five or more creatures following one another in zig-zag patterns, and bears a notable resemblance to the Zako enemies from Namco's Galaga.
|A small round cloud crackling with yellow lightning. Like the bee-like enemies, it appears in large groups following one another, only now appearing in more geometric patterns and at slightly less-predictable intervals.
|A spinning, flight-borne turtle which boasts the unique ability of actively following the player around the screen until defeated. It often appears in a second formation; long groups of the creature will stream down the edge and across the very bottom of the playfield, ensuring the Divine cannot indefinitely rest at the rear of the the screen.
|A crab-like enemy concealed in a shell. It appears in long formations which swing down the screen in a back-and-forth pendulum motion.
|An enemy attack craft based on the real-life Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft. It will generally appear from the upper corners of the screen to rapidly dive bomb towards the player, moving horizontally as they do in at attempt to directly collide with the Divine.
|A spinning diamond-like object which is often encountered in large groups. It will frequently appear mid-stages in a constant rain, creating an effect similar to a meteor shower, but will often appear in formation to hover before the Divine and fire a spread shot of projectiles down the screen.
|A strange-looking enemy which bears a gross, misshapen pair of organic pincers. Also appears in formation, streaming onto the screen in long, zigzagging lines.
|A fleshy, animate torso which crawls along the ground, and is one of few enemies able to fire projectiles toward the Divine. It bears a notable resemblance to the Gouger enemies from Irem's R-Type.
|A small bat which appears in great swarms, which rapidly undulate up and down in an attempt to avoid player fire. The swarms will slowly descent towards the Divine, and can be difficult to entirely destroy.
|A rapidly-moving sphere decorated with wriggling tendrils. It will appear in large swarms which hover directly above the Divine, and will follow its horizontal movements while creeping down the playfield.
|A large, purple bat creature. Swoops onto the screen from a number of angles (often from behind), and eventually swings around the screen in a circular formation in an attempt to encapsulate the Divine and limit its movement.
|An insect-like flying worm with wings resembling a dragonfly. Attacks the Divine rapidly and in unpredictable movements, and most notably will often appear directly from the rear of the screen. In the fifth level, it frequently appears from the bottom corners of the screen to fly up past the screen's upper edge and swoop back both for a direct attack.
Bosses in Divine Sealing primarily attack by shifting themselves around the playfield and repeatedly firing an endless series of slow-moving projectiles at the player's current position. Uniquely, they lack collision and animation, and can freely pass through the Divine without the ship taking damage - freeing the player's attention to focus on navigating around their projectiles, and particularly ensuring that their weaponry doesn't stray too close for comfort.
Due to their slow-moving nature, the playfield gradually becomes filled with a sea of projectiles - all moving in different directions. If the Divine is to succeed, players must process all of these trajectories at once, while also tracking the unpredictable movements of the bosses themselves. Fortunately, each boss (except the last) only features a total of two locations from which it can fire projectiles from its body.
|The boss of Water Planet, an intimidating mecha piloted by the enemy. It fires a pair of projectiles from each of its arm cannons, aimed directly towards the player's current location. More threateningly, it quickly shifts around the screen and ensures its projectiles take unpredictable and chaotic directions, overall acting as a basic introduction to Divine Sealing's unique style of boss fights.|
|The boss of Earth Planet, an enemy spaceship mysteriously adorned with a second ship similar to the Divine. It fires a pair of projectiles from each of its wing-mounted guns, and at a more rapid pace than the previous boss. The ship's unique gimmick is its ability to instantaneously teleport around the screen (and with no visual warning beforehand.)|
|The boss of Wind Planet, an insect-like creature which features the ability to separate itself in two. Both segments of the boss fire a single stream of projectiles each - one remaining at the center top of the screen, and the other thrusting into a one of the bottom-thirds of the screen; a unique fight in presenting both a stationary and moving source of enemy fire.|
|The boss of Flame Planet, a massive salamander-like creature whose body mostly rests offscreen. Perhaps Divine Sealing 's most straightforward fight, as the boss is completely static the entire fight and only fires projectiles from the sides of its mouth. However, each side fires projectiles at an unpredictable rate, with one side often firing a single shot and the other firing a steady stream.
|The boss of Final Planet, a demonic Baphomet-like goat skull embedded in a grotesque, ventricle-laden heart. The only boss which can fire four projectiles at once, it swoops around the screen in a geometric figure eight pattern and rapidly launches erratic streams of projectiles at the Divine. While intimidating, it is fought much like that of Water Planet's boss, and other than the increased amount of projectiles is fairly straightforward.|
- Main article: Divine Sealing/History.
- Main article: Divine Sealing/Magazine articles.
- Main article: Divine Sealing/Promotional material.
|Sega Retro Average|
ROM dump status
- About Divine Sealing fansite at Enterprises (Japanese) (Wayback Machine)
- The History of Lewd: Divine Sealing article by Pete Davison at Rice Digital
- Divine Sealing review by David Wilson at Sega-16 (Wayback Machine)
- Divine Sealing at Segagaga Domain (Wayback Machine)
- Divine Sealing review by Edward at 1CC Log for Shmups